Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lessons from Rehab: be

Okay so what does it look like to BE the church? To fall under His leadership? Well, it is scary at first. It is usually quiet, at first. I would suggest each church have a church planter (apostle) who has lived this simple/organic church life for a significant period of time to help walk you through it in the beginning.

When we get together, our goal is to edify one another and bring Him glory. This usually looks different every time. If your meetings always look the same, that is a pretty good indicator that you are telling God how he should work among you. We have short meetings and long meetings. We sometimes gather and sing, pray, share scripture, give testimonies, eat, encourage one another, and eat again. Then again we may gather just to pray, nothing else. It is funny I have learned that if we let Him, the Lord really will orchestrate the meetings. One example, we were meeting in our home in Peru. There were several tribes represented and a group of missionaries and some Peruvians. Several of our spiritual siblings were very poor and could not afford taxi fare to get to our house. So I was the jungle bus ministry. Susan stayed at the house as people arrived and I drove through town to bring people to the house. One meeting I arrived and the place was filled with instruments. There were several guitars, a charango, a dorbeke, a couple flutes, a cajone, shakers, and even a donkey’s jawbone (Peruvian percussion instrument). We sang for hours, and spent some awesome time with the Lord. Afterwrds I asked who had orchestrated this concert? We learned that no one had spoken with anyone about the meeting. Everyone said they just had a song on their hearts that day and could not wait to share it. God had done this, not men. He desired our song that night, and we gave it to him, and we all left edified.

Modern Christians are so used to experiencing one part of the body that they have learned to have low expectations for the meetings. How much can you know about a person from looking solely at their hand? You can learn a bit. You can tell if they are a laborourer if they are neat freaks, if they are male or female. But in order to know a person you need to spend time with them, watch them live, listen to them speak, work along side them. Then you will know them, after experiencing their entire being. We are the Body of Christ, if we want to know Him we have to experience how he is working in each of us. We need to hear of the struggles of Amanda, listen to the questions of wes, laugh at the funny things the lord taught teresa, join in the song on the heart of bobby, hear the teaching of joe, listen to the correction of corey and the confession of Susan, etc. It sometimes takes a while but we must learn to speak up, and obey.

If the Lord is prompting you to read a passage or confess a sin and you do not do it you are in disobedience, sin. See, the Lord gave you that thing, not just for you but for the body. Maybe that verse was meant for your sister, you constricted His ministry by withholding your verse. Get it? All of these things are given to us for the edification of the body. They must happen for us to become relevant in our world again. Why? Because it is part of being connected to the head. Realizing that you have a ministry and it is very important and necessary to the body. When you realize this you change how you think of the meetings and your part of them. If you know you are meeting on Friday. You are especially attentive in your time with the Lord listening to what he desires for you of course, but also listening for what he may have for the rest of the body. You listen to music with purpose, you live with more intentionality in your life, it really changes everything.

Then you begin to learn the depth of his character through His body. You may see His kindness in Melissa, his zeal in Jonathan, his artistic side in Chris, his silly side in Arwen, his courage in Mario, his innocence in juan, his wisdom in… You get the point. It is a beautiful thing.

Another thing I learned in rehab is that more people have the possibility to recover than actually do. What happens is most people are so shocked by their situation that they resign themselves to their current state. They do not care to give the work it takes to get better so they don’t. This is so much like some of the people I have spoken to in the church. They agree we are in a dire situation, but they have resigned themselves to this Christian half-existence. “It isn’t gonna get any better you cant change people or all of the centuries of tradition…” Believe me it was a painful and long process, but I can walk now and go anywhere because of it. If we work at it, the church can too.